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Posts Tagged ‘Gold Star Families’

gayeisenhausermurphygoodeMother of  fallen soldier Gay Eisenhauer has been selected as Murphy Goode Winery’s February Hero of the Month. Nominated by her childhood friend, Jesse, herself the wife of a injured veteran, Gay’s story is deeply moving and inspiring.

In 2005, Gay’s son Wyatt was killed by an IED in Iraq at the age of 26. When his body was brought home, Gay was shocked – “I can’t tell you what it was like to drive up to the airport and see Wyatt being brought out with a forklift, the casket teetering,” she said.

She went on to lobby for a national law that requires those who die in service to be flown home on a military jet. Their caskets must be draped with a flag and accompanied by an Honor Guard. The law went into effect in January 2007.

As Jesse wrote, “Gay attends funerals of fallen heroes, reaches out to Gold Star families, and helps to raise awareness and funds to benefit service members and veterans. Gay founded the Wyatt D. Eisenhauer Memorial Fund, awarding scholarships. Annually she organizes a ride to honor our service members and hosts a Run For the Fallen Event. It’s not about how long he lived but how he lived. I am a believer in paying it forward. Wyatt made the ultimate sacrifice to “Pay it forward,” a trait he certainly learned from his mother! For that she is my hero!”

Gay has chosen the Wyatt D Eisenhauer Memorial scholarship fund as her chairty of choice, with a matching 1000.00 given to Operation Homefront.

In case you haven’t heard, Murphy Goode is looking for a Few Goode Heroes. They want to hear about the people who are making a difference in your community. Nominate your hero by submitting a photo and a 250 word essay. One monthly Hero will be selected through fan votes and a team of judges to receive a donation to the charity of their choice*, and Murphy-Goode will make a matching donation to one of our heroes, Operation Homefront.

One grand prize hero will win a 4th of July BBQ in their hometown, sponsored by Murphy-Goode and catered by their Grill Sergeant!

murphygoodeheroes

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Gold stars aren’t necessarily a good thing in the military community. Yes, they can mark a high rank, but they also symbolize the ultimate sacrifice.

Gold Star Wives of America is a venerated group that no one wants to join. It’s composed of widows and widowers of service members killed on active duty or due to service-related disabilities. It was founded in 1945 by widows from World War II.

Then there’s Gold Star Families. They’re part of Families United, a nonprofit support group for families of fallen service members. Again, a club no one wants to qualify for, but one that is deeply appreciated by its members.

This weekend (July 23-24, 2010), Families United is honoring the families of service members killed in Iraq and Afghanistan with the second annual Weekend of Remembrance. There will be a dinner where families will share their memories of their loved ones, a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery and a trip to Six Flags to end the solemn celebration on a lighter note.

And after the weekend ends, these families can stay connected through the new National Gold Star Families Registry. This online resource includes a social network for families, a searchable database of service members killed in the line of duty and a tribute page where the public can pay homage to the fallen.

Here’s a case where the gold star is a shining example for the rest of us on how we can support our military families.

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